Post-wartime healing is a Cool Golf Thing

Subject of a new documentary, the Caddie School for Soldiers spans continents.
Military veterans from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States have found refuge in golf. Their experiences learning the art of caddying are the subject of a new, moving documentary.

Among the Ryder Cup festivities this week has been the world premiere of a film about one of the many ways in which golf can help enrich the lives of people to whom we owe enduring debts of gratitude.

The 53-minute documentary Carrying On takes viewers inside the first Caddie School for Soldiers, held over the course of February, 2019 in Scotland. It was founded by memoirist and novelist Don J. Snyder, who chronicled his efforts to support his son's professional golf ambitions in the 2014 book Walking With Jack. Snyder's main source of funding for his son: caddying in and around St. Andrews.

Carrying On looks at caddying as an act of self-restoration, a step on a lifelong journey of healing. Snyder gathers six veterans - three from the United Kingdom, two from Canada and one from the United States - to receive a month's worth of training from Davy Gilchrist and David Scott, the caddiemaster and pro, respectively, at the Dukes Course at St. Andrews.

Over the course of the documentary, Snyder and director Jon Beer intersperse scenes of the veterans learning the ropes of caddying with interviews about their military experiences. The emotional toll of war is evident, but so is the hope that healing can come through the game of golf.

Snyder, not a veteran himself, keeps coy about his motivations for starting this program until the end of the film, when he tells a family story that connects everything in a moving payoff.

What's the connection between the film and the Ryder Cup? The second session of the program, supported by Kohler, begins October 6 at Whistling Straits, just a couple weeks after the matches conclude.

To learn more about the program, visit You can watch the full documentary here:

March 22, 2019
300 words or less, every other Friday.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
More from the author
49 Min Read
June 23, 2022
The "Top 100 under $100" finally delivers a list of courses that every golfer can afford.
1 Min Read
June 22, 2022
Pinpoint wedges have helped McIlroy play some of the best golf of his career lately. Learn his technique and get more shot-saving tips from the four-time major champion.
4 Min Read
June 20, 2022
Fitzpatrick's analytical approach to every shot and his pin-in putting give golfers food for thought.
4 Min Read
June 20, 2022
U.S. Open-winning (old) putter technology, new irons from a maverick Texas company and a quick review of a new rangefinder feature in this month's edition.
4 Min Read
June 15, 2022
Golf course news and notes: June, 2022.
25 Images
May 30, 2022
Sending us nice golf pictures - and stories of your successes - spreads the joy of this great game.
1 Min Read
June 10, 2022
We must protect this clubhouse.
6 Min Read
May 26, 2022
The Midwest dominates our selections, but there are great golf getaway options from coast to coast.
3 Min Read
May 30, 2022
This legendary resort in North Carolina Sandhills will show off its connection to two legends - Donald Ross and Peggy Kirk Bell - by hosting its fourth U.S. Women's Open.
Load More
Now Reading
Post-wartime healing is a Cool Golf Thing